Varied points of view at Chicago Irish Film Festival
By BILL STAMETS For Sun-Times Media February 27, 2014 10:54PM
The past torments a young woman in “Sodium Party,” showing on March 6. It’s described as a “nonlinear thriller.” | PROVIDED PHOTO
CHICAGO IRISH FILM FESTIVAL
When: Through March 8
Where: Society for Arts, 1112 N. Milwaukee; Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport
Admission: $10 ($100 for “Get the Picture” benefit)
Updated: April 1, 2014 9:48AM
Dialects, pubs and psychic chaos all fit into the weeklong lineup of the 15th Chicago Irish Film Festival. Most dramas, documentaries and shorts screen at the Society for Arts, 1112 N. Milwaukee. The Music Box Theater at 3733 N. Southport hosts the opening and closing screenings.
Here are previews of some of the titles:
† “Get the Picture” is all about perspective. This expert, 69-minute documentary salutes John G. Morris, a photo editor at Life magazine, Magnum Photos, the New York Times and the National Geographic. Although skipping his aesthetics, director Cathy Pearson makes clear his anti-war philosophy. Born in Chicago in 1916, Morris will appear at a benefit screening and reception (7:30 p.m. Friday, Society for Arts; $100 donation).
† Another recommended documentary is “The Irish Pub” (9 p.m. March 7). Director Alex Fegan comes to Chicago to share his beguiling chats with Irish pub owners. Characters and lore are served, pint after pint.
† Two comic shorts are cued to vocal accents. A first-time voice-over actor gets upstaged in the very cute end-credits of Steve Ryan’s “A Big Deal” (3:30 p.m. March 2; “Shorts Program I: Personal Perspectives”). Dubliners deliver indecipherable turns of phrase in Jenny Keogh’s video “Story Bud?” (7:30 p.m. March 8; “Shorts Program: Irish Stew/ Cinema Style”). The uninitiated will be clueless. Listen at your own risk.
† Two dramas with trauma in mind inflict extreme visions. Point-of-view goes pathological in these overly stylized, if unsuccessful exercises. Nonetheless, both indies are worth a look.
Billed as “a nonlinear thriller,” Michael McCudden’s “Sodium Party” gets lost in the head of a young woman. A fairy tale, an imaginary playmate, nightmares, repressed memories and home movies deliver a bag of visual tricks. (9 p.m. March 6)
“Stalker” begins with a first-person outlook drenched in red. A homeless man and cinema buff witnesses cruelty in Dublin streets. Ending with a nod to “Taxi Driver,” director Mark O’Connor hammers a bloody view of vengeance. The classical music score is scattershot. Maybe insanely so. (9 p.m March 5)